People: Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em.

women lying in the grass near lake michigan in Chicago in the summertime Photo : Alanna Bagladi

When thinking of Obvi’s idea of #ladylove, I couldn’t help but reflect on the stigmas of living with girls. In every apartment or dorm room that I have lived in, I always lived with girls. The reason? I just wanted to live with people who happened to be girls. At the time, it made me feel more comfortable, although I was not opposed to living with guys. During my sophomore year of college, there were seven of us girls living in one town house! That year I had roommates that were messy to say the least, a roommate that created drama because someone “stole her mug,” and everything in between. Along with this, I noticed that whenever I would tell someone how many us were in the house, I would get similar responses:
“You must have so much drama in your apartment.”
“How do you do it?”
“I could never do that.”
After hearing these responses over and over again, I eventually adapted the same mindset: Living with many girls at one time is drama-filled and demanding.
Even now as I search on the internet, I find articles and videos with the same ideas. Girls are known to be clean freaks, yet their hair is everywhere; they have little boundaries, yet they cannot hear criticism; they will act like your best friend when they need something, but then talk about you to the other roommates. After reading these things, I thought: couldn’t this be anyone? Why are these qualities that are specifically attached to living with girls?
This ‘problem’ of living with many girls came up again when I moved into my new place for an overseas job. As a year-long program, they provide shared housing for all of the participants. Going into it, I thought the apartments would be separated between girls and boys, having about six girls in an apartment. I immediately figured this would be quite the challenge to overcome during the year. As it turned out, in my apartment there are six of us, four girls and two guys. Immediately when I knew that we would have two boys living in the apartment, I became relaxed; if there was drama, they could be the grounded voices of reason.  And isn’t this where the problem lies? In my eyes, living with many girls would be a challenge that can be ‘overcome’ by having boys there.
But the truth is that having many people living in the same place is always challenging. What I have found is that, yes, boys can be relaxed, and so can girls. As some girls love drama, some boys do too. My biases that were based on misconceptions of stereotypes were only changed when the experiences of these different living situations opened my perception. So I’m here to spread some #ladylove to all of you reading this. Yes, we may be difficult to live with, but isn’t everyone?


Autumn Jones: Autumn Jones Francophile, psychic, and mother of dragons. Can say “Where’s the Taco Bell?” in five languages (including emoji).